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Costa Mesa pulls in over $250,000 in donations for additional features in new Lions Park library

Costa Mesa pulls in over $250,000 in donations for additional features in new Lions Park library
A rendering shows what the new library under construction in Costa Mesa’s Lions Park will look like. This week, the city officially accepted $254,860 in donations for new features at the library. (File Illustration)

With the grand opening of a new library in Costa Mesa’s Lions Park just around the corner, city officials this week officially booked more than $250,000 in donations that will help bankroll additional features for patrons of all ages.

The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to accept a total of $254,860 from 10 different donors. The lion’s share will go toward certain features and equipment that were not included in the overall $36.5-million budget for projects at the park.

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“When the council approved the start of the Lions Park projects, we knew there were some special things that we hoped to have for the library and the park that were not going to be in the budget to pay for,” said acting City Manager Tamara Letourneau. “So we were out talking to folks in the community. We created a catalog of some things that we’d like to have.”

“We could not be happier,” she added.

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The largest donation came from Orange County philanthropists Julia and George Argyros, who put $100,000 toward a laptop dispenser and “innovation center equipment,” according to the city.

Friends of the Costa Mesa Libraries gave $75,000 for a community information media wall; C.J. Segerstrom & Sons wrote a $50,000 check for technology resources in the children’s library; and the Costa Mesa Library Foundation donated $26,000 for three projects — a “learning play island” in the children’s library, a teen technology bar and an interactive media display.

The remaining $3,860 was from six unidentified individual donations.

Letourneau said the city will recognize the donors during the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new library, scheduled for 10 a.m. April 26 at 1855 Park Ave.

Donations are still being accepted. For more information, visit lionsparkprojects.com.

The new two-story, 23,355-square-foot library is the centerpiece of a wider effort to remake Lions Park and usher in what city officials have labeled the “next chapter” for the space.

As part of that, the 8,740-square-foot building that formerly housed the Donald Dungan Library branch in the park will be repurposed to replace the former Neighborhood Community Center, which was torn down in 2017.

Separately, the city is looking to renovate the playground at Lions Park. The council has devoted about $2.05 million for that.

A neighborhood meeting to discuss that project is scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon March 9 at the Costa Mesa Senior Center, 695 W. 19th St. For more information, visit costamesaca.gov/lionsparkplayground.

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